Pete Rock banged the war drum when he herd Lupe Fiasco‘s re-creation of the 1992 Pete Rock and CL Smooth classic, “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.).” While Lupe and Rock have yet to resolve their “fair use” dispute, Chiddy Bang producer DJ Xaphoon Jones offered his insight about the music in question and why even sample-heavy hip-hop producers can catch feelings when their music is on the chop.
Xaphoon Jones, who has an extensive knowledge of the original Tom Scott song, broke down the history before the sound clash.
“[The sample] came out on the 1968 album called Honeysuckle Breeze,” the young producer explained to CBS Local. “It’s a dope song but about two-and-a-half minutes in, Tom Scott takes the saxophone. [It's significant] for Pete Rock to be able to pick that out and make such a classic.”
When producer SimonSayz re-imagined the track for Lupe’s new song, “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” which dropped on Monday (May 21 st ), Pete Rock took to Twitter to air his grievance.
“Whoever Re-created that didn’t do a good job @ all. #nohate,” he tweeted. He went on to tweet about how he got the blessing of some artists he had sampled, including Luther Vandross and Tom Scott, before he chopped up their music.
After his Twitter tirade, Rock reached out to Lupe to put the beef to rest.
“There is no Pete Rock vs. Lupe Fiasco and there never was,” he said in a statement released Wednesday (May 23). “Lupe called me last night for the first time about the remake of my song and we worked out our differences.”
But Lupe had a different story to tell, saying that the phone call didn’t end their conflict.
“We reached to Pete in November [and Rock said] ‘Lupe, that’s my man, he has my blessing,’” he told Sway on Sway in the Morning. Lupe said he was blindsided by Rock’s attack. “When we finally get on the phone we didn’t have a conversation…I was hot.”
While up-and-coming producer DJ Xaphoon Jones has obviously done his share of crate-digging homework, the Chiddy Bang member can empathize with both sides of the argument.
“For me to have any say on what Pete Rock should feel about that is ridiculous,” he said. “He could feel any kind of way. I don’t think that necessarliy means Lupe doesn’t have a right to make that song. He has a right to combine any elements he finds and put it out there. But Pete Rock absolutely has a right to be angry because that’s his record.”
Listen to “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” and Pete Rock and CL Smooth’s “T.R.O.Y.” to determine for yourself. Also, check out Chiddy Bang’s interview, where Xaphoon gets his nerd on and displays his music knowledge.
–Erik Parker, CBS Local